In order to make the holiday season a little brighter for active service members, the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office teamed up with a pair of its jail vendors and Clinton County elementary schools on Monday to assemble care packages for U.S. soldiers deployed overseas.

According to a press release distributed by the CCSO, a total of approximately 20 people, including inmates, vendors, staff and volunteers spent nearly two hours filling 1,000 care packages.

Combined Public Communications – the CCSO’s phone, commissary and video visitation provider – and Quality Correctional Care – its medical provider – donated the items being sent to the troops. The items provided included shampoo, body wash, baby powder, q-tips, chapstick, playing cards, batteries, ramen noodles, snack mix, drink mix, sugar and creamer.

According to the release, all of the county’s elementary schools participated in making cards and letters to put inside the care packages.

“We got them from all four districts,” said Ashley Kelly, Jail Matron at the CCSO. “They were hilarious. They were amazing. I know the inmates read a couple of them before they were getting started, and they got a kick out of them as well. They did a great job. We had participation from grades K to 5.”

With the help of eight inmates and three representatives from the two vendors, The CCSO made relatively short work out of filling 1,000 care packages.

“They did an awesome job,” said Kelly. “I was convinced that this would span a couple of days because it is a thousand packages, but they knocked it out.

“Everyone did an amazing job working together today to complete a thousand of these packages,” she added. “I am so proud of everyone who participated in today’s project. We will certainly continue community service projects in the future. This could not have gone better.”

“We believe part of the rehabilitation process for inmates is learning how to give back,” the press release read. “This community service opportunity gives the inmates a sense of pride and purpose for the upcoming holiday season. We expect to package all of the care packs, with the help of the USO, to ship overseas in time for Christmas! We would like to send a huge ‘Thank You’ to our vendors and schools for making this possible! We also commend our inmates for their hard work today!”

Kelly says she hopes to continue doing various community service projects throughout the year.

“This was brought about because the Sheriff (Rich Kelly) has a college friend in another state that was doing something similar. There was some banter between football college friends. If one sends 1,000, the other will try to send 1,001. The Sheriff wanted it done, so I handled the logistics of doing it.”